The Light of Christ

The Easter Vigil is one of the highlights of the Christian year. Reaching the end of Lent, we begin the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection with the year’s richest liturgy. One of the elements that impacts us is the Service of Light in which commences in darkness, then the priest lights the Easter Candle, then the light of Christ slowly spreads out among the faithful, filling the whole church with light. It’s a beautiful symbol of the light of the Resurrection conquering the darkness of the world.

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles . For me, it is a bittersweet moment. On one hand we celebrate a great feast, but on the other hand, Easter ends. We go back to green vestments and the Angelus, the readings from the Acts of the Apostles end, and the Easter candle disappears. Why? Are we no longer celebrating the greatness of Christ’s triumph?

But let’s think deeply about it, does the joy and beauty of Easter really go away? Or is it just hidden? Think about what happens in each Mass at around Communion time. It’s just like the Service of Light, but exponentially greater. Instead of the priest lighting a candle, he brings down and makes present the very Body of Christ. Instead of the light passing on one-by-one, person to person, Christ is shared one-by-one to each of the faithful, till Christ fills the whole Church. Instead of the one light spreading out and overwhelming the darkness, the one and only Christ is born in each of our hearts to conquer the darkness of sin. Isn’t that amazing and so much more beautiful? If the Service of Light at Easter impresses us so much, how much more should every Mass strike our hearts? We don’t receive just a candle, but the very Light Himself.

Also, it doesn’t or shouldn’t end just with Mass. When we leave the church, this sharing of Christ should continue. God gave us this gift for a reason.  This presence of Christ should appear in all that we do so that He may be born in each and every person, so that this world can be like the Church at Easter, shining with the light of Christ.

Photo Credit: Aida P Fita
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The Light of Christ